From chronic depression to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia to obsessive-compulsive disorder and more, Virginia Hospital Center's Psychiatric Treatment program provides an array of treatment options that can be customized to ensure that the recovery program meets each patient's unique needs.
We have developed a philosophy of care that we follow rigorously: we respect human potential and recognize the uniqueness of each individual. We integrate the patient's personal goals into the treatment program. We use the specialized skills of experts who work closely together as an interdisciplinary team. And we strive, with each step, to help our patients move into independent and productive lives.
Inpatient Acute Care
A secured unit within Virginia Hospital Center, Inpatient Acute Care is designed to provide short-term treatment to stabilize psychiatric patients and get the therapeutic process underway in a safe, supportive environment.
Inpatient Acute Care is staffed by highly trained and qualified psychiatric nurses, social workers, therapists and other health professionals. Working with the patient's attending psychiatrist, the team assesses each patient's condition and develops an individualized treatment plan to meet the patient's emotional, physical, social and spiritual needs.
With the recent introduction of new types of medications, patients with psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression have far more options, and often more effective alternatives.
Using these medications appropriately, calculating, and adjusting dosages and monitoring patients for compliance and side effects requires the involvement of a team of skilled and experienced professionals. Working with the attending psychiatrist, the team will carefully assess the need for medication, make certain that the appropriate drug is chosen, and track and evaluate the medication's effectiveness to ensure the patient receives the greatest possible benefit from drug therapy.
Patients with severe depression may also be candidates for electroshock therapy (ECT). Once widely used, then overused, ECT use has been disputed. But recent research and clinical experience have shown that ECT can be highly effective in treating serious depression, when administered carefully, selectively and appropriately. At Virginia Hospital Center's Psychiatric Treatment program, only a licensed psychiatrist with specialized training in ECT administers this therapy.
Although drugs and other medical therapies are extremely valuable in treating psychiatric disorders, group or individual psychotherapy and other expressive therapies continue to play vital roles in helping patients recover from these illnesses. Patients take an active role in their own recovery, an essential step in ensuring their future success in all aspects of their lives, by exploring their feelings, conflicts, fears, motivations, and personal goals.
strong>Occupational therapyhelps patients learn and refine their basic skills for daily living, including self-care and work, which can be very challenging to patients with psychiatric illnesses. Art therapy allows patients the opportunity to use their creativity to explore their feelings and thoughts, and in the process, often reveal surprising and enlightening truths about themselves. Recreational therapy uses exercise, games, and interaction with pets to instill healthy lifestyle habits and abilities.
And of course, psychotherapy, both in individual and group settings, is an essential component of care. One-on-one sessions with private psychiatrists and psychiatric residents on the unit help patients open up and speak honestly about themselves; group psychotherapy lets patients see firsthand that they are not alone in their illness, and also fosters social interaction and development of social skills.
All these activities are designed and administered by therapists, social workers and other highly skilled and qualified professionals.
Dual Diagnosis Program
Quite often, patients with psychiatric disorders also abuse alcohol or other drugs. In fact, some 60% of patients with bipolar disorder are also substance abusers. When we see that a patient suffers from both conditions, we provide separate and concurrent care for each problem. We use all the resources available at Virginia Hospital Center to develop custom treatment programs for our patients, seamlessly combining elements of psychiatric and addiction treatment.
Patients with mental illness need strong family support to facilitate their recovery. And often the families themselves need support, as well, to help them cope with the disruptions and distress that mental illness can cause and learn how to best help their loved one with a psychiatric disorder.
The Psychiatric Treatment program strongly emphasizes family involvement in the patient's treatment plan. Social workers can help families find needed services, plan for the patient's discharge and continuing treatment, and work through their own concerns.